Even when it seems all is sunshine and roses with Tottenham Hotspur, there is always a fly in the ointment. Paul Mitchell, who was recruited to join Spurs from Southampton along with his former and now current colleague Mauricio Pochettino, is leaving the club at some point in the near future, as is the player ID scout Rob McKenzie who Spurs poached from Leicester.
At the same time, newspaper reports that Tottenham is trying to block Mitchell from leaving.
Is the pending departure of Mitchell and McKenzie a cause for concern, or is the worry mostly due to the timing of the move?
Mitchell was responsible for some of Southampton’s very good signings when he and Pochettino worked together, as well as soon after the Argentine left. He was either directly or indirectly responsible for helping Saints sign players like Victor Wanyama, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane and more. He was certainly helped by working with Ronald Koeman in the summer of 2014, who had contacts in Dutch football circles, but his work with Southampton is certainly commendable. His work with Spurs was largely successful too, as he helped bring in players such as Toby Alderweireld, Heung-Min Son, Vincent Janssen among others, though the credit for signing Dele Alli and Eric Dier can go elsewhere. Mitchell and McKenzie certainly have had a major role in Spurs’ recent recruitment, and their departures will no doubt hurt the club. But it is impossible to know how much they were responsible for each of the individual signings, or exactly what their reason is for leaving.
Based on the statements from Mitchell, it seems he is leaving for another club for whatever reason, and there’s no begrudging him for that. His spells at each of his individual clubs have been around two years, and he’s been with Spurs for about that long. With moves regarding the backroom staff at individual clubs, it’s hard to piece together why personnel moves happen so frequently as well as what these men are exactly responsible for, and it’s the same for Spurs. Mitchell isn’t leaving the club immediately, as he’ll finish out the transfer window with the club and then move on at some point in the future, so the immediate transfer business for Tottenham will not yet be affected. But the future of what looked like a harmonious club for top to bottom now has a little discord thrown into the mix.